All About Estates

Dr. Richard Shulman

Total 27 Posts Website
Dr. Shulman is a Geriatric Psychiatrist, and is the Service Medical Director for Seniors Mental Health Services at Trillium Health Partners (Mississauga Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital and Queensway Health Centre). He is available for independent medical-legal capacity assessments. He is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto. Email: Richard.Shulman@thp.ca

Some Concerns about Proposing MAiD via Advanced Directives

Audrey Parker, a terminally ill woman living in Nova Scotia, ended her life with medical assistance earlier this month after issuing a final deathbed plea asking lawmakers to loosen some of the restrictions embedded in Canada’s assisted dying law.[i] Parker stressed that the law had to be changed because anyone…

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Statutory Guardianship of Property vs. a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property: They are not the same!

My June 2017 blog described that most seniors appoint a continuing power of attorney for property (CPOAP), partly to avoid having the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPG&T) assume the role of statutory guardian of property under the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) or the Mental Health Act (MHA)…

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Is it Improper for Counsel to Assist an Expert Witness in the Preparation of the Expert’s Report?

Expert evidence constitutes an exception to the rule that witnesses may only testify as to facts, not opinions, and that it is the exclusive prerogative of the trier of fact to draw inferences from proven facts. The expert evidence exception operates where specialized knowledge is required to determine the implications…

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Undue Influence by “Unwitting Proxy”

Undue influence results in benefits to a beneficiary/donee which would not have occurred except for the undue influence imposed by the beneficiary/donee upon the testator/donor. Undue influence can be conceptualized into two distinct types: (1) “actual” undue influence and (2) “presumed” undue influence. Actual undue influence is concerned with coercive…

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When More Help is Needed: Moving Seniors with Dementia to Care Facilities

Section 4(1) of the Health Care Consent Act (HCCA) sets out a two-part test for determining whether a person has the capacity to consent to medical treatment, to be admitted to a care facility, or to receive a personal assistive service/device: Is the person able to understand information relevant to…

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Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) and Undue Influence

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the ban on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) was unconstitutional (for a summary of the decision, click here). However, MAiD is not available to all persons; to qualify, a person requesting MAiD must have a grievous and irremediable medical condition including…

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LTCHA Fails to Meet its Mandate for Seniors with Dementia and Responsive Behaviours

All long-term care homes in Ontario are governed by one piece of legislation: the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) designed to help ensure that residents of long-term care homes receive safe, consistent, high-quality resident-centred care. The Ontario Regulation 79/10 (Regulation) is made under the LTCHA and provides additional requirements….

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Assisting Detection of Hospital Acquired Delirium by Informal Caregivers – The Sour Seven

In the March 2018 edition of Reader’s Digest, I came across an article called “State of Confusion”[i] about hospital acquired delirium and the negative consequences that can arise from it. (The author’s original article can be found online.)[ii] The editor’s letter “Decoding Delirium”[iii] in the same issue recounts her mother’s…

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Consent to Medical Assistance in Dying vs. Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment

The cases before the court of Shalom Ouanounou and Taquisha McKitty[i] focus on the declaration of brain death and the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment without consent. I will not address the issue of declaration of brain death as that lies outside my scope of practice, but rather will comment on…

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Capacity Evaluation of an Expressed Choice

In law, expressed choices are not necessarily a reflection of capable decision making. For example, regarding testamentary capacity, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Hall v. Bennett Estate (2003)[i] stated in paragraphs 15 and 16 that it is not sufficient simply to show that a testator had the capacity to…

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